Edu-Tech Leadership Is a Tough Task for Principals
Principals sit in a very difficult position when it comes to educational technology. They face pressures about what digital learning approaches to take and what tech products to buy—from the central office, education companies, teachers, parents, and students. Some will embrace their choices, while others will question them—or in some cases, even try to undermine them.
That's why many edu-tech experts say that the success of digital learning initiatives often hinges on the principal's ability to find the right balance among all the various groups in a school community.
Principals who are comfortable with technology become models of technology use in schools. If they can demonstrate their ease with technology by using e-mail, Web sites, preparing reports illustrated with graphs and photos embedded in presentations, using the student information system to track the day-to-day operation of the school, and using handheld devices to complete teacher appraisals, the more confident the teachers will be.
Fear of technology may strike experienced and inexperienced teachers. The principal must defuse the fear and the resistance to technology use.
To implement technology in classrooms, the principal can follow these steps:
*Identify the teachers’ skills and knowledge of technology
*Plan activities that match the skill and knowledge level of the teachers
*Schedule and deliver the activities
*Plan to repeat activities until teachers have mastered the skills
*Allow teachers to practice the skills and demonstrate the use of the technology
*Provide time for skill practice
*Feature teachers as the facilitators of the sessions to emphasize the teacher-to-teacher-model of professional development
*Provide time and resources to allow sessions to be successful and to demonstrate the value placed on the activities.